A Great Alternative: ROH TV 3-28-2015

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Ring of Honor has been around for  thirteen years and I am horribly ashamed I’ve only gotten into it recently. I’m going to keep watching their show and recapping it as it’s something that every fan of professional wrestling should get behind. One of the best things about this show is you can watch it right here. I’m probably going to gush… be warned…

RING OF HONOR TELEVISION 3-28-2015

 Still in Baltimore, the city of love!

GUN LOVE!!!
GUN LOVE!!!

We’re kicking it into high gear right away with Moose making his way down to the ring. Kevin and Steve laud him as a future world champ and it’s pretty hard to argue with them. He has all the skills, the athleticism, a busty lawyer and a fresh prince that follows him to ringside. Sounds like some pretty legit heat on him tonight too from the Baltimore faithful. They chant along with “Moose” but there’s definitely a tone to it. I want to say scorn and derision, but I think I’m going to land on jealousy and inadequacy. Caprice Colman is out to fight him. Caprice Coleman is dead.

Match # 1 Moose Vs. Caprice Coleman

Veda Scott refuses to let Moose respect the code of honor at the top, which I’d like an explanation for at some point. Of course because the commentators actually watch the show and comment on what’s happening they acknowledge it and I smile a little on the inside. I’m getting a bad feeling off the top with these two, and it’s not the usual, “They just had to make the tow African American guys fight one another,” as ROH regularly pushes many people of many different backgrounds at the same time (shocking I know) but they both just seem a little off. Maybe it’s me…

" If I don't like your color, I don't like your color." Actually said during IYH Revenge of Taker.
” If I don’t like your color, I don’t like your color.”
Actually said during IYH Revenge of Taker.

 

No it’s them. They’re off. Moose takes a hurricanrana to the outside in possibly the most awkward way known to man. I want to say “business exposing” like but I feel that may be a bit too harsh. Then he clearly throws himself into the post and makes me regret holding back. Coleman isn’t faring much better though. His punches and kicks look tired and sloppy. He does hit a pretty sweet moonsault from the inside second rope to the outside. Corino discusses the merits of consternation as a viable word and I’m right back into the show. Moose quietly nails his awesome dropkick with Coleman on the top rope, followed by a spear for the win. These two did not click at all. That being said I’ve seen both of them in much better matches so they both have a enough good stuff in the bank to get a bit of a pass here. I’d almost always rather this kind of match where it’s a bit sloppy but guys are trying to tell a coherent story over a three minute pile of nothing that buries both guys.

You've had your 90 seconds. Go home boys.
You’ve had your 90 seconds. Go home boys.

In a nice touch Stokley checks to see if Coleman is ok. It’s subtle, but good to see a little character development from managers going forward.

Oh we’re going right into another match. It’s like it’s a wrestling show or something…

Match # 2 BJ (snicker) Whitmer & Adam Page Vs. Shaheim Ali & Leon St-Giovanni

Squishy, squishy squash. The decade kills these two guys dead, finishing with a sweet knee to the face/flipping clothesline combo followed by the “ALL SEEING EYE” for the win.

BJ (hahaha) is on the stick talking about how the Decade is trying to find their “New boy.” They’ve found their man. He’s a second generation star, who needs a father figure and a brother. BJ (pffffft) says they’re inviting a Corino to be their “new boy” but not Steve, his eighteen year old son Colby. Colby is touched and Steve is pissed. Could we all just come to an agreement right here that constantly referring to him being “our young boy,” gives off a pretty strong connotation that there’s some sex going on here. I doubt that’s what they’re going for, but when two guys in Speedos talk about recruiting a “young boy,” what the hell else could they be talking about. In fact I haven’t seen a scene with a boy more disturbing than that production of The Nightman Cometh, that set stages on fire a few years ago.

... Want to make love to you boyyyyyy!...
… Want to make love to you boyyyyyy!…

Anyways, Steve is pissed and is going to fight. Who can blame him, I’d want to protect my son from a man named BJ too. Even Jimmy Jacobs comes out and stresses that this has gone too far. “That’s his son!” Yells a conflicted yet aroused Jacobs. “You ain’t seen nothing yet Steve,” cackles BJ (seriously change your name) as he leads his new young boy to the back. Colby holds the ropes for his new “mentors” and poor Steve Corino is left in the ring questioning every choice he’s ever made in his life.

Honestly if this were WWE I’d be tearing this to shreds because we’d have Michael Cole in that god damned orange singlet wrestling to save his son. I can deal with Steve Corino fighting Whitmer as it’s been building for a while. I can also deal with BJ sucking the life out of Corino by going after his son. We’ll see where it goes.

We get a nice recap of Donovan Dijak joining the House Of Truth last week, which means we get more Dalton Castle which means I can die a happy man. We see Castle getting nailed with the “Feast your Eyes” and man does Dijak need to find a better way to hide that knap.

Dijak and Jay Diesel make their way to the ring. Dijak and Diesel. Has a decent ring to it. Corino is completely broken up over his son and Kevin can’t believe the despicability of Mr. Whitmer. (I’d write BJ again but I’m out of ways to allude to blowjobs). They’re fighting Brutal Bob Evans and Cheeseburger… Brutal Burgers… What am I watching here?

I have the same job as Hulk Hogan.
I have the same job as Hulk Hogan.

Match # 3 Donovan Dijak & Jay Diesel Vs. Brutal Burgers

I feel like Cheeseburger is the nichiest of niches in wrestling. I’m sure he’s very talented but it immediately looks like I’m watching a crappy little Indy promotion with very good production value. Come on. That’s a hamburger hat from the dollar store… And Brutal Bob looks like a jacked up version of a local Shakespearean actor I know. Sure this means nothing to you the reader, but I’ve had to sit through his plays, and now I’m picturing him playing Iago next to a much less intimidating Othello than I’m used to.

Truth Martini has joined Kevin on commentary as Steve has left. What exactly happened to Truth’s voice? Six packs a day? A hockey puck to the throat? ( another guy I knew) The human voice cannot exist in that register without going through a minimal amount of trauma. This match is pretty terrible. Nothing looks slick and everyone looks second rate. Jay Diesel may be the worst seller I’ve ever seen. It’s just clunky and awkward. Great, now Dijak is raising his hand in the air, telling us the knap is coming for his “feast your eyes.” I think someone needs to explain to him that a knap is there to add to the illusion that you’re nailing him with your move. It’s like Steven Segal turning to the camera and saying “Don’t worry these are blanks.” The double D’s win the match and Bob plays out my Shakespearean tragedy but turning on Othello to the disgust of Kevin (Michael Cassio) Kelly.

Brutal Bob wouldn't turn on this racist prick.
Brutal Bob wouldn’t turn on this racist prick.

I must commend them on their persistence to keep promoting the replay of the PPV that aired a month ago. Can’t say they’re not trying to make money. It would be offensive if it wasn’t the tremendous show that it was.

Jay Briscoe will not underestimate… EYES WIDE SHUT TIME!!!! Can we just pay this off already?

Match #4 Samoa Joe Vs. Kyle O’Reilley

Joe looks great and I hope he’s motivated. He gets a ton of streamers. The crowd is quick to welcome him back and also offer up that he is, in fact, going to kill O’Reilley. Before we can get started we go to break with Truth Martini now hawking Super Beta Prostate. What’s wrong with your voice????

I house bees in my throat.
I house bees in my throat.

This is a killer match. They start off with some great mat based stuff and I love how O’Reilley can’t get Joe off his feet with a single leg takedown. These two are so smooth and it’s the greatest of contrasts from the last match. In five minutes I’ve gone from watching something in my high school gym to watching the best promotion in the world. Joe dominates early and Bobby Fish is hilarious on the outside pleading with Kyle to “Get out of the way!”

We take a break and come back to O’Reilley suddenly controlling the match. Normally this isn’t something I would mention but up until this point the story of the match has been that O’Reilley has no answer for Joe. I would have liked to have seen him find that answer. Just not a great edit there. I love that one of the stories of the match has been Kyle trying to breaks Joe’s arm. He just keeps going back to it, EVERY time. It’s touches like that that make me think I’m watching an actual fight rather than a scripted dance. Anyone who has read my reports of NXT knows I hate rest holds that look like resting. Joe should be teaching everyone in NXT (and on Earth) how to do a rest hold sequence. He locks in an STF and when O’Reilley reaches for the ropes Joe grabs that arm and turns it into a cross face. When Kyle reaches with the other arm Joe then grabs that one and turns it into a “rings of Saturn” type maneuver. Just a great evolution of moves that ensures that O’Reilley can’t make it to the ropes in the most logical way. Joe sets up for the muscle buster which Kyle counters into a guillotine , which he promptly turns into a Kimura lock (still trying to break the arm) and then two more arm bar variations. Did I mention I love when a match has a story to it?

I break people's arms. Right Robert?
I break people’s arms. Right Robert?

O’Reilley then fakes a kick which makes Joe wince long enough to get attacked on the arm again. Awesome. They then each break into their strike sequences and the crowd agrees with my latest assessment. Kyle keeps working the arm, but Joe catches him with the muscle buster for the win. Wonderful match. They shake hands and we’re out of here. Yup. Joe was motivated.

SAY RIGHT NOW AGAIN! I DARE YOU!
SAY RIGHT NOW AGAIN! I DARE YOU!

Best Match: Samoa Joe Vs. Kyle O’Reilley
Worst Match: Donovan Dijak & Jay Diesel Vs. Brutal Burgers
Best Promo/Skit: None
Worst Promo/Skit: None
MVP: Samoa Joe.

What Worked Really Well

Joe versus O’Reilley was a hell of a match. The kind of thing that reminds me why I’m a fan.

I love the touch of Jimmy Jacobs thinking his partner has gone too far in messing with Corino’s family.

What Sort Of Works
Pay of Eyes Wide Shut please.

Dijak must have loved throwing Cheeseburger around.

What Didn’t Work

Here’s the big gripe: This was a pretty huge week for ROH. The return of Samoa Joe is a huge deal for the company, and one would assume his presence is bringing new eyes to the product. Those people know what they’re getting with Joe. So what pray tell do these new eyes see when they tune in to ring of honor for the first time? A sloppy match, a squash followed by a feud with one of the announcers and a match with a guy named Cheeseburger in it. ROH has the reputation of being a promotion where wrestling matters, but even the purest wrestling fans will be turned off if something appears second rate. You can’t give people that match with Dijak, Diesel, Evans and Cheeseburger and expect them to come back. Not only did it have the stigma of being “Indy” but the wrestling in the match wasn’t very good either. If you have Samoa Joe bringing more eyes, you have to convince them to keep watching. Where’s Jay Briscoe? Where’s ACH, Sydal, Alexander, The Addiction, Mark Briscoe, Roderick Strong and Jay Lethal? Any combination of those guys would have been better than what we got this week. It’s so frustrating, because those of us who love Ring of Honor want nothing more than for it to grow, but it can’t if decisions like this are being made. It’d be fine if this was a onetime gaff, but less than a month ago they decided to run old footage coming off a terrific pay per view. That’s two fairly large promotional errors in a month’s span. That’s worrisome.

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

The main event was great. Probably the best thing of wrestling television this week. The rest is forgettable save for the angle advancement. You get to see ROH and its best and possibly its worst all in one hour.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!

Author: Aaron George

Aaron is a classically trained Shakespearean actor by day who fulfils his culture quotient by watching wrestling by night. He has two sons a great wife and once explored the sewers in his hometown.